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Great Lakes Underwater 2009
Great Lakes Shipwrecks - Press Release

Deep Water Shipwreck Explorer Set for 2009 Great Lakes Underwater March 7

- David White, NYSG, 315-312-3042
- Philip R. Church, Oswego Maritime Foundation, 315-343-2062

OSWEGO, NY, February 20, 2009 - If you only have one guess as to who has discovered the Great Lakes’ oldest confirmed shipwreck, the only fully intact wrecked British warship, a rare dagger-board schooner dating to the early 1800s and more than 200 historic shipwrecks in Lake Champlain, the Finger Lakes, and the Mississippi and Ohio River, you better guess Jim Kennard. The well-known underwater explorer and engineer, who has built his own sonar equipment, will keynote the 2009 Great Lakes Underwater event March 7 at SUNY Oswego.

Kennard will make a trilogy presentation of three “Deep Shipwrecks of Lake Ontario” and provide a separate update and a short video on the discovery of the British war ship HMS Ontario that he and Dan Scoville located in May 2008. Kennard says, “Each of the shipwrecks in this presentation has been discovered in the deep waters of Lake Ontario from 360 to nearly 700 feet. One is a rare recently discovered 200-year-old dagger-board schooner  - the only such ship to have been found in the Great Lakes.”

Conference co-organizer David G. White, a coastal recreation and tourism specialist with New York Sea Grant, Oswego, says, “The techniques Jim uses for discovering wrecks such as the HMS Ontario, that sank in Lake Ontario in 1780 during the American Revolutionary War and is the oldest confirmed shipwreck in the Great Lakes, are fascinating and make for an exciting day at the 2009 Great Lakes Underwater event.” 

Some of the other discoveries made by Jim Kennard and colleagues diving in New York waters:

  • Passenger steamship Champlain, wrecked near Westport, NY, in 1873
  • Revolutionary War-era bridge crossing Lake Champlain in 1776
  • Early 1800s schooner Milan near Oak Orchard, NY
  • 1850s Canadian schooner Orcadian in Lake Ontario near Sodus Point, NY
  • Canadian-built schooner Etta Belle, near Sodus Point, NY
  • Canadian steamer Homer Warren, sunk in 1919 near Pultneyville, NY
  • 56-foot US Coast Guard boat that sank in 1977.

Great Lakes Underwater 2009 will be held in the high-tech SUNY Oswego Campus Center Auditorium. Registration for Great Lakes Underwater is $25 ($20 for students) payable to Cornell University and includes the program, buffet lunch, and refreshments. For more information, contact New York Sea Grant, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126, 315-312-3042.

Also, check out the "Related Info" box in the upper right. There, you'll find a flyer as well as a link to the Oswego Maritime site.

Great Lakes Underwater 2009 is hosted by New York Sea Grant and the Oswego Maritime Foundation and co-sponsored by Seaway Trail, Inc.

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